Ever wondered how many wheels are there in the world? Ever wondered how many wheels are there in the world?

Ever wondered how many wheels are there in the world?

Has the question raised in your mind about the total number of wheels in the world? The question may appear very simple, but it makes way to a curious world. The wheels are in existence from cars on the streets to toy trains in the children’s play area.

The topic became more interesting with the social media debate on if there are more number of wheels or doors across the globe. Let us understand this mind boggling mystery.

What is a wheel?

A wheel is a circular object that moves around a central axis, easing the movement of the objects remarkably. They are an integral part of transportation, be it ancient carts or revolutionized modern cars. They help to attain faster speeds with a lesser utilization of energy.

The concept of wheels hail from a thousand of years, initially worked on wagons and chariots in the ancient years. In the recent times, wheels are literally everywhere, employed on machinery, cars, toys, bicycles, and much more.

They facilitate the humans with an effortless transport mode of heavy loads over larger distances, simplifying our lives.

History of Wheels

Wheels were introduced in the world a thousand years back. The people in the ancient era constructed wheels from stone and wooden material for transportation of heavy loads.

The very first wheels were discovered by the people of Mesopotamia in around 3500 BCE. They made the wheels of wood and used them for pottery and household tasks. Later, they realized the importance of wheels and included them in chariots and wagons with their creativity to avail long distance journey.

Total number of wheels in the world

The wheels are categorized mainly into pneumatic and solid wheels. The air-filled wheels are most common and are employed in cars, bicycles, airplanes, and others. Whereas, solid wheels are used in industries for the functioning of heavy machineries. Further, pneumatic wheels evolved in two subcategories: tube and tubeless. With the introduction of tubeless tires, the automotive industry got revolutionized but still it is assumed that they are not as effective as tube tires. On the other hand, solid wheels are made of steel, rubber, or wood.

Let us have a look at the most used vehicles for estimating the number of wheels.

Bicycles & Motorcycles

  • They are the most economical vehicles used globally having two pneumatic wheels. It is estimated that there are around 1 billion bicycles across the globe, meaning that there are a minimum of 2 billion wheels attached to the bicycles alone.
  • Coming to motorcycles, they have larger wheels as compared to bicycles and are engine driven. With around 200 million motorcycles worldwide, there are around 400 million wheels attached to motorcycles.


  • When it comes to convenience along with luxury, cars are the most preferred transportation mode. They have four pneumatic wheels in their design, and with an estimation of 1.4 billion cars overall, there are a minimum of 5.6 billion wheels attached to cars.


  • Trucks are used for transporting heavy loads over larger distances effectively. There are different size of trucks and as per their design, they have a minimum of 6-8 wheels. The number rises to around 300 million trucks globally, depicting that there are at least 1.8 billion pneumatic wheels attached to trucks.


  • Buses are an efficient mode of transport which can occupy large number of people and has less number of wheels. They have around 4-6 wheels, and with an estimation of 4 million busses over the globe, there are 16 million wheels attached to buses.


  • Airplanes employ both category of wheels, pneumatic and solid. The number of wheels vary in the commercial planes depending on their gear assembly. As per the survey, there are around 28000 as of writing, meaning that there are over 110000 wheels attached to the commercial planes, majority of which are operational, and some of them grounded.

Construction vehicles

  • The construction vehicles such as cranes, bulldozers, dumpers, concrete mixers, excavators, and others have different number of wheels depending upon their models. It is estimated that there are over 12 million wheels alone from the construction vehicles.

Moreover, there are many other smaller machines, tools, and equipment that employ wheels for their ease. It includes toy wheels, shopping carts, lawn cutters, wheelchairs, and much more. To predict the exact numbers of wheel in the world is practically impossible due to important factors like continuous production and disposal, different applications, and worldwide distribution.

It is difficult task to get the exact number of wheels in the world without a detailed, real-time data of production, disposal, and distribution of wheels across the global. It is pretty sure that there are billions of wheels currently rolling in the world.

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